Such claims, as stated in the Congress bill, have been stirring anger among government institutions, pro-state media, and public figures, all of whom rejected the torture claims and accused the NGO of publishing lies – Photo compiled by Egypt Today/Mohame Such claims, as stated in the Congress bill, have been stirring anger among government institutions, pro-state media, and public figures, all of whom rejected the torture claims and accused the NGO of publishing lies – Photo compiled by Egypt Today/Mohame

Parliament debunks U.S. Congress claims on Copts

Fri, Dec. 29, 2017
CAIRO – 29 December 2017: A resolution was introduced to the U.S. Congress on Dec. 21 expressing concerns over attacks on Coptic citizens in Egypt; Egypt’s Parliament refuted the “allegations” within the resolution during a Wednesday hearing session.

The Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee held the session over the consequences of the bill.

The session included the head of Egypt's State Information Service (SIS), Diaa Rashwan, Head of Free Egyptians Party’s Parliamentary committee Alaa Abid, head of Parliament’s Human Rights committee, Kamal Amer and head of parliament’s defense, National Security committee, Karim Darwish and other officials.

U.S. Congress members, namely Carolyn B. Maloney, David N. Cicilline, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, David A. Trott and Brad Sherman, both Republicans and Democrats, cosponsored the house resolution claiming the persecution of Copts in Egypt.


The resolution came as follows:


The resolution alleged that Copts were subjected to:
• Systemic bigotry and longstanding sectarian divisions
• Treatment as second-class citizens in Egypt
• A culture of impunity for attacks on Christians

Alaa Abed, head of the Human Rights Committee, said in press statements that the committee will take action this month, which will include a visit to the United Nations and western capitals. He added that Coptic MPs will respond in regards to this issue.

MP Margaret Azer, deputy head of the Human Rights Committee, refused to characterize Coptic Christians in Egypt as a minority, arguing that they are citizens who have the same rights as Muslims.

Such claims, as stated in the Congress bill, have been stirring anger among government institutions, pro-state media, and public figures, all of whom rejected the torture claims and accused the NGO of publishing lies, inaccuracies, and acting upon a pro-Muslim Brotherhood agenda.


Not David A. Trott's first!



On Dec. 21, 2016, Congressman Trott sponsored a bill under the title "Coptic Churches Accountability Act", which was referred to the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The bill described the progress made in restoring or repairing Christian religious property and property owned by Christians in Egypt that was damaged or destroyed during the August 2013 sectarian violence; the implementation of the law Egypt passed in 2016 that imposes significant burdens on church building; and the nature and extent of Egyptian laws and policies regarding the construction of Christian churches or places of worship.

Trott's 2016 bill came as follows:


The Egyptian Foreign Affairs slammed in a statement on Dec. 29 that the bill contained "errors inconsistent with reality", explaining that Egypt did not witness a sectarian violence in 2013, however, it was a terrorist attack by the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Human Rights Committee of Egypt’s parliament denounced the bill; head of the committee, Alaa Abed, said the congressional act contradicts parliamentary traditions and rules all over the world since it as good as condones intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign countries.

He added that the bill ignored the repair and restoration work which the Egyptian Armed Forces had done and is already doing on the damaged churches and establishments; 90 per cent of those damaged in 2013 have already been restored, and the remaining are scheduled to be completed in January 2017.

For its part, the Coptic Orthodox Church also rejected the bill ad said the government carried out its “full duty in repairing and renovating the churches,” a process it said is nearing completion as pledged by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. “Egyptian national unity is above all, and can never be compromised,” the Church added.

Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt, also denounced the bill; addressing the U.S. Congress as he sarcastically asked, “Where were you when the MB looted and burned our churches in 2013?”

The American Coptic Association further rejected the bill; it said it saw nothing to justify such bill when the Egyptian State had already restored some 90 per cent of the damaged buildings.

The Armed Forces already set a budget of LE300 million to complete the restoration of churches and Christian establishments that were rampaged at the hands of the MB and their supporters in 2013.


Utter rejection, all Egyptians are targets:



Chairman of Parliament's Foreign Relations Committee Tarek Radwan said the memo presented to the U.S. congress from six members claiming violations of rights of Christians in Egypt is in fact "full of lies".

"The memo is not based on any evidence regarding claims of violence or discrimination against Christians in Egypt," said Diaa Rashwan, head of the State Information Service (SIS).

Rashwan further called, during a hearing session held by the Foreign Relations, Defense and National Security committees on the bill, for inviting the six American lawmakers who cosponsored the bill to another hearing in the Egyptian Parliament attended by Coptic MPs and to word a rebuttal.

The SIS head asserted that all Egyptians, whether Muslims or Christians, are possible targets in the eyes of terrorism.

A Coptic member of the Parliament, Magdy Malak, from Upper Egypt governorate of Minya, said that Copts living in Egypt will not accept a protection from a foreign power.

Malak added that the number of villages in Minya exceeds 2000, still the incidents driven by sectarian reasons did not pass 37, not more than two percent of the other crimes.

Malak said that the Copts problems are part of the other burdens the Egyptian State are wearied by, such as the Health and the education.

MP Tharwat Bakhit, a member of the Supreme Committee of the Free Egyptians Party, highlighted the role played by the Egyptian Coptic Church for decades, naming the Patriarchs of the ancient church by the Golden chain.
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